Nancy Springer

Award-winning American author. Born in New Jersey in 1948. She is perhaps best known for her fantasy and mystery novels, for which she has received honours from the Mystery Writers of America. She has also written many other novels, children's/young adult books and short stories. Her children's novels include a number of pony related titles, most of which are fairly thoughtful and have a greater depth than the usual pony story.

Ms. Springer suffered depression for many years and it is her opinion that writing helped her become well again. You can read more about this in an excellent and very frank interview with her (see link on right).

Nancy Springer has her own (very basic) website which has a message from the author plus a bibliography of her books, although not much else.

Horse & Pony Books:

A HORSE TO LOVE
(HARPER & ROW [USA] 1987)
SUMMARY: Her parents buy Erin a horse, hoping that caring for and riding him, will cure her timidity and give her some confidence in her abilities. Her aunt steps in to help and soon Erin finds owing a horse can be problematic but also incredibly rewarding.

NOT ON A WHITE HORSE
(ATHENEUM [USA] 1988)
Reprinted in paperback by Knopf.
In print at the moment.
SUMMARY: Twelve year old Rhiannon is depressed with her life living in a dreary mining town and dreams of a different sort of existence. When she spots a lost white Arabian gelding in the woods her life finds a focus: she learns to deal with family problems and decides the direction her life will take.

THEY'RE ALL NAMED WILDFIRE
(ATHENEUM [USA] 1989)
SUMMARY: Pony story which also explores racial issues. The problems begin when Shanterey's family move next door to Jenny's. Shanterey is black, and in Jenny's rural Pennsylvania town, blacks have always been treated with suspicion and scorn.
The two girls become friends when they discover they both love horses and they both collect model ponies. Shanterey knows more about horses than Jenny, and she shares her knowledge. But when the girls secretly ride a neighbour's horse, which had been forbidden to Shanterey because of her race, the girls find themselves in serious trouble.

COLT
(DIAL [USA] 1991)
ILLUSTRATED BY LINDA BENSON
Reprinted in paperback BY Puffin.
SUMMARY: Colt Vittorio has never run a race, or even walked down the street on his own. Colt has spina bifida, and sees the world from a wheelchair. Then his mother signs him up for a special riding program.

THE GREAT PONY HASSLE
(DIAL [USA] 1993)
ILLUSTRATED BY DANIEL MARK DUFFY
Reprinted in paperback by Puffin.
SUMMARY: When the mother of ten year old twin girls marries the father of two more twin girls, the rivalry and jealousy are worsened by one girl's demand for a pony as a reward for accepting the new family.

THE BOY ON A BLACK HORSE
(ATHENEUM [USA] 1994)
Reprinted in paperback by Troll.
In print at the moment.
SUMMARY: Intrigued by the mysterious and angry Romany boy who joins her class, thirteen year old Gray finds that he shares her love of horses but harbours a dark secret...

SKY RIDER
(HARPER COLLINS [USA] 1999)
Reprinted in paperback by Harper.
SUMMARY: Supernatural, thought-provoking horse story. Dusty has been injured in a car accident caused by her drunken father. The night before the vet comes to put down her beloved horse Tazz, the pain of her injury matches that of her heart. When a mysterious boy appears and offers to take Tazz away with him where he will be safe and well, she agrees. Later she finds out about a boy who died violently on her father's property and who bears a striking resemblance to the otherworldly stranger. Is this his ghost and is he out for revenge? Or can she help him find peace?
PONYMAD RATING: 4 HORSESHOES

Collector's Info:
The Boy on the Black Horse and Not on a white Horse are in print and can be bought new in the USA and UK. All the books are easy to find second-hand in the USA. Harder to find elsewhere, although there are a few copies to be had from UK internet bookshops and others can be bought from America fairly cheaply.  Quite a few of her non-horsy books are also in print and can be bought in the UK.

Short stories in Other Books & Collections:

THE MOST MAGICAL THING ABOUT RACHEL
in HORSE FANTASTIC
(Edited by Martin & Rosalind Greenberg)
(DAW [USA] 1991?)
SUMMARY: Not sure what the story is about. The book itself appears to be an anthology of horse-related fantasy and science fiction.

Collector's Info:
Not that easy to find, although there is usually a couple of copies on the internet somewhere.

Miscellanea:

MUSIC OF THEIR HOOVES: POEMS ABOUT HORSES
(BOYDS MILL PRESS [USA] 1994)
ILLUSTRATED BY SANDY RABINOWITZ
SUMMARY: Anthology of 20 poems by the author about the relationship between young riders and their horses.

Collector's Info:
Easy to find in the USA, harder elsewhere.